Houses of Zodiac

Houses of Zodiac: Poems for Cello, an album, film, and immersive video installation that combines spoken word, movement, music, and image to explore the intersection of mind, body, and nature, performed by cellist Jeffrey Zeigler. The project takes its title from the twelve houses of the zodiac as facets of the self, drawing inspiration from explorations of the subconscious including the writings of Anaïs Nin (read by Maria Popova of Brain Pickings), Pablo Neruda, Brenda Shaughnessy, and Natasha Trethewey. Additional musicians include Tanya TagaqNels Cline, and others. The album will be released digitally on National Sawdust Tracks on September 10, with a vinyl record release to follow.

The album, produced and recorded by Grammy-winning producer Adam Abeshouse, paints a broad sonic palette, with Side A featuring solo cello works by Prestini performed by her husband, former Kronos Quartet member Jeffrey Zeigler—the couple’s first solo album collaboration. The music is inspired by and interspersed with excerpts of poetry by Pablo Neruda, Brenda Shaughnessy, Natasha Trethewey and Anaïs Nin, read by Shaughnessy and Trethewey themselves, as well as Maria Popova and Prestini. Poetry interludes are underscored by brief sections of an instrumental soundscape called We Breathe Again, originally composed by Prestini as the score for an acclaimed 2017 documentary of the same title, which explores intergenerational trauma in Alaska Native communities. The piece, which appears in its entirety on Side B of the album, features Zeigler alongside Prestini’s ‘musical family’ of guest artists Tanya Tagaq (who also composed the score’s vocals), Nels Cline, David Cossin, and Cornelius Dufallo, as well as Prestini herself.

Created by filmmaker Murat Eyuboglu, who previously collaborated with Prestini and Zeigler on the award-winning documentary The Colorado, the Houses of Zodiac film weaves together the poems and music of the album with archival images that inspired the works, as well as cross-cultural explorations of dance. Filmed at MASS MoCA as well as studios in Tokyo and New York, it features the performances and original choreography of New York City Ballet soloist Georgina Pazcoguin and Butoh dancer Dai Matsuoka, a member of the acclaimed Butoh troupe Sankai Juku. Created under the challenges of Covid-19 restrictions, the curated cinematic experience highlights unlikely pairings from seemingly disparate worlds—ballet and Butoh, poetry and photography—and reflects on the themes of being, becoming, solitude, communion, and freedom.


Butoh: Dai Matsuoka
Image: Nobuhiro Shimura
Music: Naoyuki Takeda
Costume: Chiaki Nishikawa
Movie Camera: Masabumi Kimura, Ryu Ozaki

Premiered at Odawara Sannomaru Hall

Photo by Masbumi Kimura
Photo by Masbumi Kimura
Photo by Masbumi Kimura
Photo by Masbumi Kimura

Hijikata Three Chapters 土方三章

Choreographed by Tatsumi Hijikata
Supervised and Narrated by Yoshito Ohno
Performed by Dai Matsuoka

“Hijikata Three Chapters” has been long performed by Yoshito Ohno, since Tatsumi Hijikata choreographed this piece for him in 1985. In 2018, not only for the purpose of delving into the early period Butoh method, but also for the archival purpose to make the important piece survive, Dai Matsuoka asked Yoshito Ohno to pass the choreography on him, and give directions to the new version in which Matsuoka performs the piece.Through this piece, Matsuoka, one of the main dancers of Sankaijuku, realizes the timeless collaboration with the founder of Butoh, and the living legend of Butoh.


In the time of COVID-19, Dai Matsuoka has started producing and directing dance movies for LAND FES that he founded in 2011.


Dai Matsuoka produces the online platform of Butoh exploration, BUTOH CHOREO LAB.
The unique form of Butoh was born out of Japan in the 1960s. Today, Butoh is known internationally and there are practitioners all over the world, but as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, opportunities for people to access Butoh have plummeted. In such times, BUTOH CHOREO LAB aims to develop, popularise and pass on Butoh, by sharing Butoh dancers’ thoughts and techniques on choreography from the Kazuo Ohno Dance Studio to an online platform.

Something Called Butoh Interview Series

This interview series is based on the book “Something Called Butoh” which was published in 2020 as a report on worldwide Butoh surveys conducted by the Dance Archive Network from 2017 to 2019. In order to delve into the phenomenon of “Butoh” that is widespread all over the world, Dai Matsuoka, an editor of the book, interviews various Butoh artists.

To purchase the book “Something Called Butoh” (*International shipping available)

Guest #2: Yumi Umiumare (Merlbourne, Australia)

Guest #1: Atsushi Takenouchi (Tuscany, Italy)

Scramble Dance Project

Originally led by Yoshito Ohno, now the workshop is facilitated by Dai Matsuoka and takes place on a regular basis in Odawara City. This workshop is for a wide range of people to experience and have fun with creating dance together, including non-experienced, people with disabilities, children and the elderly.

See more at


Dai Matsuoka’s solo work in Akira Miyanaga’s projection image for KAAT Exhibition 2017.


Choreography/Direction/Performance:Dai Matsuoka
Video Image:Akira Miyanaga
Original Image:Natsunosuke Mise
Costume:Taka Enomoto

Phantom Limb Company
“Falling Out”

“For the past 10 years, relentlessly inquisitive theater artists Jessica Grindstaff and Erik Sanko have created onstage magic as a means to address current events and timeless mythologies. Their latest is a rippling meditation on water, heartbreak, and healing in response to the 2011 tsunami and Fukushima nuclear disaster. In collaboration with Dai Matsuoka of dance troupe Sankai Juku, the work weaves flex dance, butoh, and Phantom Limb’s unique puppet theater into a visually arresting tapestry of collective experience and artistic alchemy.”(from BAM website)

Direction and design:Jessica Grindstaff
Original music and puppet design:Erik Sanko
Butoh Master:Dai Matsuoka
Costumes:Henrik Vibskov
Lighting Design:Brian H Scott
Sound design:Darron L West
Video design:Keith Skretch
Dramaturgy:Janice Paran

Produced by Octopus Theatricals.
Creative Producer:Mara Isaacs/Octopus Theatricals

Premiered at OZ Arts Nashville OZ(2018)
Comissioned by BAM(2018)


UNBALANCE. A multimedia butoh research. from Mariano Leotta on Vimeo.

UNBALANCE is a multimedia performance on human relations where lighting is used unconventionally as an invisible divider between people and the entire environment responds to their movement.

An international collaboration between the Japanese butoh performer Dai Matsuoka and the Canada-based multimedia director Mariano Leotta, triggered in early 2019 during an art residency in Tokyo. The result is this first study that serves as a show backbone and starting point of an experimental multimedia research.

Choreography/performance Dai Matsuoka, Masahiro Nakanishi, Kei Ishikawa
Lighting/Multimedia design Mariano Leotta, Sho Tokura
Photo Shooting Bozzo, Noriko Kubota, Yasuko Tadokoro
Video Shooting Yuta Sugihara, Issam Kechouri
Post Production Mariano Leotta, Issam Kechouri
Music “Program Q Nex” by Plaster (Feat. Tonbo)
Made with the support of Co-iki Art Residency, Prism CO. LTD., TOHO university
Special thanks to Yoko Negami, Endo Youchi, Takato Henmi, Peter Goessner


Collaborative production with Malaysian Butoh company Nyoba Kan and director Lee Swee Keong for Kuala Lumpur Butoh Festival 2018.

Diretor:Lee Swee Keong
Butoh:Dai Matsuoka, Jessy Lieu, Lee Swee Keong
Music:Souls Impact Percussion
Lighting:Tan Eng Heng
Installation:Andrew Pok

CLAY with Thomas Bradley

CLAY is a collaborative project between Thomas Bradley (Emanuel Gat Dance, FR) and Dai Matsuoka (Sankaijuku, JP). Still in the process of development, Thomas Bradley and Dai Matsuoka have so far undergone the residency and the showing in progress at kogane4422 in Nagoya(Japan), and Garage Performing Arts Center in Corfu(Greece).


TEASER “KAITEN” at BankART Cafe Live

TEASER “KAITEN” at Gallery Side 2

See more of “快転 KAITEN” here

もののあはれ MononoAware

“MononoAware” at Kyoto National Museum


“SEA DRUM” at Yuigahama

See more of “SEA DRUM” here